Severe haemophilia won't stop me getting fit
Jay Gardner has severe Haemophilia A. He’s 22 years old, and studies acting at a Performing Arts College in Edinburgh, which is where he lives.
Jay says: “I have an arthropathy in my right ankle, which has developed throughout the years.”
“I inject every three to four days, to suit what I’m doing throughout the week, especially when it comes to anything like the gym or when it comes to college, if I’m going to have a really intense day doing stuff.
“A couple of years ago I joined my local gym and when I did, I weighed almost one hundred kilograms back then. Over the course of one year, I ended up losing twenty-seven and a half kilograms, which was a major thing in my life at that time.
“As a result of that, my body felt a lot stronger and my arthritis had kind of subsided a little bit. I feel that would have probably been because I strengthened the muscles around where the arthropathy was, so making my everyday life a lot easier to go by.
“To help sustain going to the gym, I started going to fitness classes, because I thought that if I had a bit of social pressure to go back, then I definitely would and one of the classes that I went to called ‘Body Jam’ – it was a dance class – and I absolutely loved it. It was amazing, it was euphoric and it was so different to what I’d experienced before, just like being in the gym on a bike for half an hour.
“I spoke with my Haematologist and he just “Ok well, just make sure that you do factor up before X,Y,Z”, which I always try to make sure of, depending on the day and what type of activity I’d be doing.
“For emotional support, what helped for me was having that network at the gym and then, also having my own friends in my life, who were there to back me up, to make sure that I was happy, to make sure that I felt confident and empowered in what I was doing.
“And with that support network it makes it a lot easier to maintain, because it becomes a part of your regular routine, if you keep up with it, as long as you’re doing exercise that you enjoy doing and not just going to gym because you have to go to the gym, but because you want to go to the gym.”
Before engaging in physical activities or sports, consult with your doctor about your possibilities within haemophilia.
Date of preparation: June 2021